Fest adds pub hunt, cook-off, other new events


IRELAND — May the luck of the Irish be with the lucky winners of new activities happening at this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Celebration in Ireland.

Festivities started earlier in the month with the Mayor for a Day kickoff party and various contests — Little Miss Shamrock; rock, paper, scissors; and home lighting events. The celebration will culminate Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Luck will have to be on the side of participants in the new Luck O’ The Pubs hunt. The contest replaces the road rally that used to be held during the festival.

Organizer Abby Meadows said she’s been getting a lot of questions about the road event.

“It’s something that people really shouldn’t overthink,” she said. “The point is to have fun.”

Teams will arrive at Leeds Selling Tools’ parking lot at 1 p.m. Saturday to get their clues for four bars located in Dubois County. The team must figure out the clue to get to the bar and retrieve a playing card from someone waiting at each bar. The teams can visit the bars in any order they want, but they must write down the order in which they visited the bars.

The teams must come back to The Rock in Ireland no later than 4:30 p.m. that day with their cards and list. Any teams arriving back after 4:30 p.m. will be disqualified.

“Whoever puts (the list) in my secret order, so the lucky order, wins,” Meadows said.

There will also be a grand prize drawing solely for designated drivers. And she has a gift of soda and chips for each driver for up to 30 teams.

“We really want to emphasize the designated driver,” Meadows said.

Several teams have registered for the event, but Meadows is looking for more teams to register.

“Apparently, we may have some RVs here,” Meadows said. “It should be a blast. We’re just sending people off and telling them to have fun.”

Teams can still pre-register for the contest by filling out a registration form and paying the $20 fee per team at Spuds in Ireland, or the Great Outdoors or Ivy Manor in Jasper. Registration on the day of the event will cost $25 per team. For more information, contact Meadows at 812-631-3019.

Grillers will use luck and skill as they create sliders for the Irish burger slider contest Saturday morning.

“We wanted to do something different that nobody in the area was doing,” co-organizer Bob Bleemel said. “So we came up with a slider cook-off instead of a chill or barbecue cook-off.”

Those in the contest will start making their creations at 9 a.m. at the Ireland Knights of Columbus grounds. They can enter the beef slider category, in which the beef is supplied and costs $25 to enter. Or they can enter the open slider category, which costs $15.

“They can blend any kind of meat,” Bleemel said. “They can use turkey, chicken, bear, alligator, whatever. Anything goes. There, they have to supply their own meat.”

Each team will make about 40 sliders.

A group of judges will determine the winners around noon, Bleemel said. The public will be able to sample entries starting at 11 a.m. and vote on for their favorites for the people’s choice award. Five sliders can be sampled for $5.

“We have a few teams, but we are looking for more,” Bleemel said. Teams can include one to three people, he said.

Registration forms can be turned in to Bleemel at WITZ or to co-organizer Nick Abbett at Ruxer Ford. Teams can also call Bleemel at 812-639-0542 to register. Registration is open until noon Friday, to give organizers time to purchase the beef.

Other new events at the festival include a six-member team-elimination dodgeball tournament at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Ireland Elementary School’s gymnasium, a craft brew tasting from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Ireland Knights of Columbus grounds and an Irish I will ball drop, in which winning balls drop into an Irish cauldron, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the south side of Ireland Elementary School.

Information and registration forms can be found online at www.stpatsirelandin.com.

St. Patrick’s Celebration schedule of events


4 p.m. Fish fry at St. Mary Church Community Center

6:30 p.m. Dodgeball tournament at Ireland Elementary School’s gym, doors open at 5:30 p.m.


8 a.m. Irish Trot 5K Run/Walk starts at Ireland Elementary School; St. Patty’s Breakfast at the Ireland Knights of Columbus

9 a.m. For Patty’s Sake Bake-Off at St. Mary Church Community Center; O’Blarney kids games at the Ireland Fire Station; St. Patrick’s Craft & Vendor Show at Ireland Elementary School’s gym

10 a.m. Chicken and dumplings available at the Chicken Place parking lot; Ireland Historical Society Open House

11 a.m. Irish Burger Slider Contest at Ireland Knights of Columbus grounds

Noon Craft Brew Tasting at the Ireland Knights of Columbus grounds; Irish O’Ducky at the Ireland Knights of Columbus grounds

1 p.m. Spud Shoot on the south side of Ireland Elementary School

1:30 p.m. Luck O’The Pubs starts at Leed Selling Tools parking lot; Irish I Win Ball Drop on the south side of Ireland Elementary School

4:30 p.m. Irish Mass at St. Mary Church

6:30 p.m. Dinner and auction at St. Mary Church Community Center


9 a.m. Barbecue chicken and pork chop dinners available, Ireland Knights of Columbus

10 a.m. Irish Mass at St. Mary Church; Irish Service at St. John’s Lutheran Church

10:30 a.m. Irish Heritage Service at Grace and Truth Church

1 p.m. Parade on the streets in Ireland

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